Characters: Owen, Tosh
Summary: Owen doesn’t like snow at all, so he’s understandably annoyed to find it’s been snowing overnight.
Word Count: 1460
Meme Fill For: I Love Janto, who wanted Tosh & Owen and No. 11. “Don’t you dare throw that snowba-, goddammit!”
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
Owen wasn’t a fan of snow; he never had been. Or of ice, or rain, or fog, or wind, or… well, weather in general, if he was honest. As far as he was concerned, it should never have been invented; there was no such thing as good weather. When the sun shone he got too hot and because of his fair skin he burned easily. When it was foggy, the air was damp and clammy and he couldn’t see where he was going. If the wind blew, it made walking difficult, especially if he’d been drinking, and he invariably got grit in his eyes. Rain was wet and miserable, frost and ice were slippery, and snow was wet, slippery, and cold, making it the worst of the lot. Made him wonder sometimes how he’d wound up living in a city where wet, cold, and windy was the norm. He needed to have his head examined, except he didn’t trust other doctors as far as he could throw them and he drew the line at psychoanalysing himself. Probably wouldn’t tell him anything he didn’t already know anyway.
So, when he woke up one morning to find it had snowed heavily overnight, he wasn’t best pleased, and discovering his car wouldn’t start made his already bad mood even worse. He’d have to take the bus, and he hated public transport almost as much as he hated snow. Besides, it would only get him as far as the Plas and he’d have to walk the rest of the way. Just what he didn’t need. Shoulders hunched against the chilly wind, he trekked through a good ten inches of snow to the next street to wait for the bus.
He’d been standing at the bus stop for fifteen minutes, stamping his feet and flapping his arms in an effort to stave off the worst of the cold, when a helpful passer-by informed him that the busses weren’t running today because of the snow. Owen groaned aloud. Typical. If he’d known that sooner, he could’ve already been halfway to the Hub already instead of standing there like an idiot freezing his balls off! What had he ever done to deserve this?
Cursing under his breath, he set off down the street, slipping and slithering wherever people had helpfully shovelled the snow off the pavement, leaving a treacherous sheet of ice behind. Didn’t anybody have the sense to sprinkle salt on the areas they cleared? He’d be lucky if he didn’t break his neck, and if he did, then he’d sue the morons responsible for every penny they had. It was irresponsible, that’s what it was! It never occurred to him to walk on the road, where the snow lay undisturbed by the non-existent traffic.
By the time he reached the Plas, Owen had fallen over five times, although fortunately without breaking anything. The seat of his jeans was unpleasantly damp and cold against his arse and the front of his jacket still had bits of snow clinging to it from where he’d falling headlong into a pile of shovelled snow. The ends of his scarf were sodden, his feet, even in boots, felt like blocks of ice, he could hardly feel his fingers, and he was pretty sure his nose must be as red as Rudolph’s. He wished now that he’d just called in sick and gone back to bed, but it was too late for that now; he was nearly there. Five more minutes and he’d be in the Hub, where it was dry, warmish, and blissfully free of snow. The thought of hot coffee and the dry clothes in his locker was all that kept him trudging onwards. He wished the day was over already and he was home. Maybe he’d just stay at the Hub until the snow cleared to save having to trek through it again this evening.
“Owen! Wait up!” It took him a moment to register the voice calling his name, but when he did, he paused, turning to see a bundled up purple figure scuffling through the snow towards him. Tosh. He was dithering there, in two minds over whether to wait for her and give her a gentlemanly hand through the snow, which was what Teaboy would no doubt do in his place, or just keep going and leave her to fend for herself, when he noticed what she had in her hands and a cold chill raced down his spine.
Oh no! No way! She wouldn’t!
“Don’t you dare throw that snowba… goddammit!” He hadn’t spoken quickly enough and the icy missile struck him in the middle of his chest. He looked down at the remains of it dripping off his jacket, incensed. How could she? Wasn’t she supposed to like him? Bad enough that he’d just had a half-hour walk through these miserable conditions and now she was throwing more of the damned snow at him! He turned to glare at her.
Tosh was standing maybe twenty feet away, dark hair spilling from under her purple bobble hat, face flushed from the cold, giggling behind purple-gloved hands. “Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. Don’t be mad at me!”
‘Yeah,’ Owen thought. ‘Don’t get mad; get even.’ This meant war! Stooping, he snatched up a double handful of snow and hurled it at the purple target. Tosh gave a shriek as the snowball connected with her shoulder, scuttling backwards a few steps before re-arming herself. Within moments, the snowballs were flying back and forth between them, most missing but enough finding their targets to keep the fight going. Owen forgot all about being in a bad mood, laughing and whooping loudly whenever he scored a direct hit, and yelling indignantly every time one of Tosh’s snowballs hit him.
The battle continued until Tosh, trying to avoid one of Owen’s snowballs, lost her balance and tumbled backwards into a stretch of so far un-trodden snow, all but disappearing from sight. When she didn’t immediately get up, Owen hurried towards her, worried that she might be hurt, only to find her taking advantage of her fall to make a snow angel.
He stood staring down at her, entranced. Her hat had been dislodged when she fell, and her jet-black hair was fanned out around her head, contrasting with the pure white of the snow. Her dark eyes were sparkling, her cheeks glowing pink… he didn’t think he’d ever seen her looking so purely happy, or so beautiful.
She smiled up at him. “Isn’t the snow glorious?”
Owen hated snow, but how could he tell her that when she loved it so much? It would ruin her happy mood, and for some reason he couldn’t bring himself to do that.
“Yeah, it really is,” he agreed. What the hell? He was already wet and he could change into dry things when they went inside. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Throwing himself down on his back beside her, he made his own snow angel before scrambling back to his feet and pulling out his phone to take a couple of snaps. He wanted to remember this Tosh, laughing, happy, and carefree. They so rarely had anything to be so completely happy about. Offering Tosh his hand, Owen pulled her to her feet. “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a bit chilly. We should head inside and warm up with some of Ianto’s coffee.”
“I suppose we should,” Tosh agreed. “There’s work to do.” Her smile started to fade.
“I was thinking, if we’re not too busy maybe we could come out here again later, y’know, once our clothes are dry. Build a snowman or something.” Owen wasn’t sure what mad impulse made him say that, but it brought Tosh’s smile back full force. She jumped up and down like a kid, all excited.
“I’d love that!”
Grinning back at her, Owen realised he was still holding Tosh’s hand and he kept hold of it as he bent down to retrieve her hat, shaking the worst of the snow off it. “Good thing we don’t have much further to go, because this is too wet to wear now.” He handed it to Tosh. “Purple suits you. You should wear it more often.”
“Thank you. It’s my favourite colour.” A blush deepened the pink of her cheeks.
Hand in hand, they made their way across the rest of the Plas and half walked, half slid down the ramp leading to Mermaid Quay, where the Tourist Office entrance was. Owen punched his code into the keypad to let them inside, where it was warmer. He’d always hated snow, even as a kid, but for the first time in his life, he found himself hoping it would last for a while.